Doomed Planet. Desperate Scientists. Last Hope. Kindly Couple.
What writer Grant Morrison so eloquently explored in eight powerful words, the television show Smallville expanded to an epic scale, elaborated to us over the event of a decade. The tale of how baby Kal-El was rocketed from the planet Krypton by his desperate parents, mere minutes from destruction, hurtling through vast space and found by a wonderful couple just waiting to love a child. The roots are the same in each version, just the rest of the story is told and expanded abit differently. Smallville is the origin of Superman told on a massive scale, making us believe a man can fly. And this is the continuation of that concept. My SPOILER filled assessment follows.
Smallville the television show ran from 2001 to 2011 and starred Tom Welling as the future Man Of Steel. Over the years of the show we saw young Clark Kent learn his powers, discover his heritage, and work up the courage to ask out the girl next door, all while avoiding the prying eyes of “friend” Lex Luther. At the series finale, Clark finally flew, put on the costume, and assumed the mantle of Superman. Oh, and Lex came back to life and was totally completely evil.
Flashforward to six months later in Clark’s life and we have the start of the Smallville comic series. Lois and Clark are living together in Metropolis, while the wedding being indefinitely delayed, and the happy couple still plugging away at The Daily Planet as reporters. Clark’s career as Superman is bustling, doing good deeds and gaining the public’s trust. Lex is running his company and putting into place all sorts of nefarious machinations. That is, when he is not being visited by the ghost of the sister he murdered.
Also covered in Smallville is our favourite archer, the still on the prowl Green Arrow, and his wife and long time series regular Chloe. They are busy with marriage, crime fighting, and building the Justice League base on the moon. One quibble which annoys me: Chloe was preggers in the finale, but that fact has been exorcised here. For shame.
Thankfully missing from here, and they are wise deletions, is the hugely overused Lana and the very whiny Pete. If they never come back, this Supes fan will be most happy. Newer additions coming into this universe is the long wished for Batman and a Robin of some kind. This has been a development filling my fanboy heart with giddiness. Might even do the Batusi.
This has always proven to be one of the shows and now the comics main strengths, the almost flawless integration of all sorts of bits and pieces of the previous mythologies into their whole. My favourite by a massive margin is Lois and Clark together. As they should be. As a happy couple loving, living, talking, working, and solving problems as one. The current blasphemy DC is subjecting fans to, with the marriage vanishing in a flash of reality, still bothers my deepest sensibilities. Smallville is my refuge from that nonsense.
Even with DC devolving on that aspect of the Superman concept, they are thankfully showing some innovation with Smallville by releasing it digitally first, than in print later. Writer Brian Q Miller has worked on the show, so he is intimate with it’s inner mythology, and he works well with artist Pere Perez, who channels the characters extremely well back to their first medium.
As a very longtime Superman fan, both Smallville the television show and Smallville the comic hit the right notes of my geekiness. You could even say, as a huge fan of Kal-El, that Smallville was the show to Save Me.
P.S. Superman is copyright 2012 to DC Entertainment. Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.